Navigation Links
RA Drugs Linked to Slight Skin Cancer Risk
Date:8/29/2007

But the medications' benefits outweigh the downside, experts say

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- People taking rheumatoid arthritis drugs such as etanercept (Enbrel) or infliximab (Remicade) may be at a slightly increased risk for skin cancer, researchers report.

However, the risk is probably not significant enough to outweigh the benefits of these drugs, the researchers said.

These so-called biologic treatments work by blocking tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), which previous studies had found to be linked with increased risk of skin, lung and blood cancers.

"The risk of skin cancer is marginally increased among people with rheumatoid arthritis," said lead researcher Dr. Frederick Wolfe, a clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. "But it's nothing that anybody should be worried about," he added.

For the study, Wolfe and his colleagues collected data on 13,001 patients with rheumatoid arthritis included in the National Data Bank for Rheumatic Diseases and the U.S. National Cancer Institute SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results). The researchers found a total of 623 cases of skin cancer and 537 cases of other cancers.

They also found that anti-TNF-alpha medications were associated with a slight increased risk of skin cancer. But, they did not find any increased risk for other cancers, according to the report in the September issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

The heightened risk for skin cancer is very small, Wolfe emphasized. For melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, the increased risk is about two-fold; the actual risk is less than one in a thousand patients, he said.

"This is reassuring data," Wolfe said. "The fact that one didn't find an increased risk for other cancers looks like, in the short term, these drugs are safe," he said.

However, Wolfe noted that continued use of these drugs over the long term could reveal other problems.

One expert agreed that the benefits of TNF-alpha drugs far outweighed the risks to people with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the joints and tissue surrounding vital organs.

"The whole issue of the side effects of these biological agents is so controversial and unclarified," said Christopher Evans, the Robert W. Lovett professor of orthopedic surgery at the Center for Molecular Orthopaedics at Harvard Medical School.

"This study contradicts other studies that suggested greater risks. If the data hold up, I think it's encouraging for patients," he said.

Some patients with rheumatoid arthritis end up crippled, and their life expectancy is shortened, Evans said.

"If I were a severe rheumatoid arthritis patient whose quality of life depended upon these drugs, I'd continue to take them," he said. "The risk of melanoma is less than the risk of leading a shortened, miserable existence."

More information

To learn more about rheumatoid arthritis, visit the Arthritis Foundation.



SOURCES: Frederick Wolfe, M.D., clinical professor of internal medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City; Christopher Evans, D.Sc., Ph.D., Robert W. Lovett professor of orthopedic surgery, Center for Molecular Orthopaedics, Harvard Medical School, Boston; September 2007, Arthritis & Rheumatism


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Lean Protein Could Be Key to Obesity Drugs
2. Life Saving Cancer Drugs – From Chicken! Possible Says Dolly’ Creatos
3. Nasal Spray Could Take Drugs Direct to Brain.
4. Cancer drugs in development nearly doubled since 1995
5. Cipla holds talks with mining giant to supply AIDS drugs for South African workers
6. African HIV strains more resistant to anti HIV drugs
7. Emphasis to ban Drugs ads by Doctors
8. Right drugs drastically cut stroke risk
9. Osteoporosis Drugs: right time to take-off
10. Drugs disrupt formation of blood vessels
11. Relating heart protection and antihypertensive drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... ... Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Portland today announced plans to ... and other developmental disabilities. The group, which is being launched with the help of ... to share stories and advice, seek help, and continue their education on how to ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Dr. ... will be included in the 2016 “Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons” for ... the amalgamation of their education, experience, and professional associations. , One the ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... diagnostic imaging systems and the first company to offer robotic imaging to ... at their tradeshow booth # 941 for the American Association of Equine Practitioners ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Clarify Health ... has raised $6.0 million in an initial round of funding. The round was ... and their caregivers can receive far better care through the application of the ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... announce that we have been designated as a Cigna Infertility Center of Excellence. ... rigorous performance standards. , “It’s an honor to be designated a Cigna ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... The market value of drug delivery technologies and the anticancer drugs ... according to organs involved and the types of cancer as well ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Conn. , Dec. 1, 2016  Today, Simpson ... announced the honor of being selected as winners of ... Simpson Healthcare Executives Website at the PLATINUM level, Blue ... Training Module at the GOLD Level, and our proprietary ... At Simpson Healthcare Executives, we are excited to ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... Dec. 2, 2016  UCB is pleased to announce that 12 ... upcoming 70 th American Epilepsy Society (AES) Annual Meeting, ... TX , USA. 1-12 Data ... profile of VIMPAT ® (lacosamide) CV and BRIVIACT ® ... on the current state of the union of epilepsy care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: